With the spreading of intermittent renewable power, coal-fired power units should cycle frequently to balance the load between power supply side and demand side. Coal consumption of coal-fired units operating in dynamic processes is influenced by many factors, including thermal system, control system, heat storage variation, etc. Therefore, it is very difficult to evaluate the energy efficiency of coal-fired units operating in dynamic processes. It is important to ascertain the basic coal consumption rate in dynamic processes, which is the basis to evaluate the operation performance of coal-fired units.

In this study, an off-design calculation model of 660MW ultra-supercritical coal-fired unit is developed and validated with design parameters. The developed model can be used to predict the coal consumption rates under steady-state off-design conditions. The basic coal consumption means the coal consumption of coal-fired units with operating parameters the same as target values. To calculate the basic coal consumption rate, a load cycling process is differentiated into lots of short time periods and every period is regarded as a steady-state condition with constant load, therefore the coal consumption rates in every period are equal to that of the corresponding steady-state condition. The calculation formula of basic coal consumption rates in is derived for load cycling processes.

On the basis of the off-design calculation model and assumption of idealized condition, average coal consumption rates during different processes with constant load cycling rates can be calculated and analyzed. Results show that if the initial and final loads are both settled, the basic coal consumption rate remains unchanged and is independent of load cycling rate. If the load cycling amplitude remains unchanged, the basic coal consumption rate increases as the initial load decrease. The study aims to provide benchmark values for the energy consumption analysis in actual dynamic processes, and further study on coal consumption characteristics in dynamic processes will be developed based on it.

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